Matthew Perry reportedly wanted Efron to play a younger version of the Friends star.
Athenna Crosby, who was one of the last people to speak to Perry before he passed away, told ET about the late actor’s plans and how the movie would have been about his “recovery from addiction”.
“He said that he wanted to make a movie about his life,” Crosby told the outlet.
“And he had worked with Zac Efron in the past on a movie and he said that he wanted Zac Efron to play him as a younger version [of himself] and that he was gonna ask him soon to do that.
“He was just looking forward to sharing more about his story and his recovery from addiction and really championing that cause to help more people, so he was so optimistic and happy about everything that he wanted to do.”
Efron and Perry previously starred together in the fantasy comedy 17 Again, in which Efron played a younger version of Perry’s character.
Asked about these claims at the premiere of his new movie – the biographical wrestling drama The Iron Claw – Efron said he was “hugely honoured” by them.
Zac Efron responds to claims Matthew Perry wanted to cast him in biopic
Speaking to ExtraTV, the actor stated: “I was hugely honoured. It would be extraordinary to do.
“Of course, I’m just really still devastated by the fact he’s gone. Yeah, we’ll see what happens. I’ll keep you posted with any news.”
Written and directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene, The Nest), The Iron Claw is based on the life of professional wrestler Kevin Von Erich (Efron) and the Von Erich family, who suffered a string of tragedies – leading some to dub them cursed.
Asked about the training that enabled Efron to transform into the wrestler, the actor also told ExtraTV that it was “one of the hardest things” he has ever done.
“I mean, this is a true story. The Von Erichs were iconic. They had this meteoric rise to fame,” he explained.
“Kevin Von Erich, specifically, had a really well-known reputation for being the most physical guy in the ring. When we watch the footage back, he’s just an athlete.”
“So, I wanted to be prepared to show up and get those things right and nail it. So, yeah, I trained my ass off.”
The Iron Claw will be out in Irish cinemas on 9 February 2024.
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